Workshopping Spree

Our final events in Zimbabwe were today’s two workshops. The first took place at the St. Giles Center in a room packed with young kids with some parents and staff at the back. The music teacher showed us the mbiras that some of the children were learning to play and gave us a quick lesson.20120209-151038.jpg

Then the school mbira ensemble got things rolling with a few tunes. After that we went through our usual workshop material, but it was intermixed with performances by the children and a few children’s songs. It was wonderful to be there and see the joy the kids had singing and clapping with us. A special moment came when we had the honor of performing with the mbira ensemble.


We left with great memories and a few mbiras.20120201-075312.jpg

Our second workshop took place at the Young Africa Skills Centre in Chitungwiza, an underserved area of about one million people outside of Harare. Jillian, Jasna and I took a short tour of the site with the program director and heard about the great work being done there to provide vocational training, educational support and other services to the area’s youth.

The workshop opened with some impressive breakdancing by a group of program participants. Very cool! We then went through the workshop with some spontaneous collaborations with singers near the end. We ended with our version of Bebop, getting the breakdancers back up for a nice finale!

We mostly did workshops here in Zimbabwe rather than concerts with collaboration being a thread running through everything. Even at the first performance we had the pleasure of playing with some of the talented Prince Edward School students. We had a fantastic visit, met a lot of wonderful people, heard a lot of nice music and saw a lot of beautiful sights.

We would have loved to have stayed longer, but for now we must move on.
PS further accounts of our visit:
ZimboJam article
ZimboJam video
ZimboJam facebook
All Africa article

2 thoughts on “Workshopping Spree

  1. Thanks for sharing the ZimboJam article. (Looking sharp!)
    It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Zimbabwe, and hopefully got something out of your collaborations, too.

    You all must be exhausted, but the excitement is contagious through the blog.

  2. February 17, 2010 5:22 am by Wow! This is really reisfrheng ! It is really inspiring to hear mbira being played like this, in a different genre and with such a harmonious voice . Hope you can inspire some young Zimbabwean brothers and sisters to get in touch with their roots and appreciate native arts and cultural icons like you and those that walked before you. Enough respect Tinashe , Famba Mushe!

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